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How Lightroom’s Collections Can Save You Time

Lightroom has a neat feature called Collections.  It has been there for quite a while.  Some of you may know about it and a few of you may even use it.  But many photographer’s I know don’t really take advantage of this feature.

Today, I wanted to share how you can use Lightroom’s Collections feature to save you time.

Stop Going Back and Forth Between the Library and Develop Modules

Most photographers I know use a folder system to keep their photos organized.  This is smart. 

But folders aren’t accessible when you are in the Develop Module.  That means that if you need to switch to a new folder you’ll have to go back to the Library module and choose a new folder to work on. And going back and forth takes valuable time. 

However, Lightroom Collections ARE available in the Develop module, having your photos in a Lightroom Collection keeps you from going back and forth between modules as much.  This can be a huge time saver when working on lots of photos.  

For instance, I might have a Lightroom Collection Set called Clients that holds a collection for each of my clients.  All of my favorites from each client shoot would be in a Collection titled by the client’s name.

Or maybe you have a Collection Set of your personal family favorites.  Within that Collection Set you have smart collections of each years’ favorite photos.

How to Create a Collection Set and a Collection

Creating a Lightroom Collection Set and Collection are SUPER easy.  Just move to your collection panel and find the "+" sign at the top of the collection panel. 

Once you've clicked on that, you'll see a pop-up with the different types of collections you can create. You will have 3 choices: Collection Set, Collection, and Smart Collection. 

Once you choose the collection you want, you'll set up your collection using the pop-up box that displays for each collection. 

Or you can create the collection and then drag and drop selected photos to the set.

A Few More Thoughts About Collections

A Collection is just a grouping of photos. The photos can be from the same folder or from different folders all over your hard drive. When you put photos in a collection you are NOT making duplicates of the files you are putting there. You are just telling Lightroom that you want those photos linked and viewable together in that collection. 

A Collection Set is a set of similar collections. A collection set called "Clients 2014" might have several collections of different clients inside of it.  A collection set called "Family Favorites 2014" might have different collections of your personal family favorites. Use your imagination to figure out how this might work with your workflow.

For more info about Smart Collections, go here.

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